Two Riverside, Calif., homes are up for grabs for a buck. But, here's the catch: The city is looking for a buyer that is willing to renovate the homes and move them. The projected total for renovations is $1.5 million.
The two homes have a long history in city. The McIntyre house and Sweatt house built in 1892 and 1891, respectively, were to be renovated and sold after being relocated to a piece of land on Fairmount Boulevard and Third Street in the city. But, as redevelopment laws in California changed, the city's redevelopment agencies must divest itself of the properties.
"The houses are available for a $1 on the condition they get moved. They need to go to someone that has the knowledge and the resources and the stamina to refurbish a large Victorian home," Riverside councilman Mike Gardner told ABC News.
"They are for sale. If you have a dollar and you can commit to moving it and rehabbing it, you may have it," he told told KABC-TV on Monday.
At 70 ft tall, the homes built in the 19th century homes have brick foundations, which means they will require a new foundation wherever they go, says Gardner.
"The price tag to move will be expensive due to sheer size," he continues. The price tag for the relocation will vary based on distance and the route necessary to move. "If you need to go under a bridge or down the street you may have to cut the house into sections or you may have to charge to temporarily remove power lines," which could cause the price to move to skyrocket, says Gardner.
"And it's more expensive if you have to segment the house and put it back together," he said.
The Sweatt house, pronounced sweet, is "restorable but it has not had maintenance in many years and has a couple of additions that probably should come off," said Gardner. The McIntyre, with its Eastlake detailing and decorative bargeboards, is described as "livable" and in decent shape following restoration years ago.
"No one builds anything like this anymore," said Gardner. "No one has the capability to build things like that anymore."
The low-ball selling price for the Victorian homes is not unique. In the 80s, a woman in Glen Ellyn, Ill., purchased a 116-year-old, three-bedroom, two-bath Victorian home for $1 before spending hundreds of thousands on renovation. Many onlookers watched as the home was moved from its from its downtown perch to a new address for around $50,000. In later years, the homeowner would foreclosure due to unemployment and skyrocketing medical bills.
In Riverside, Gardner is hoping to avoid the worse-case scenario.
"They are old homes. They are of a style that is getting more rare and it would be really nice if there was a way to preserve those homes," says Gardner. "If there isn't a way to preserve them, the materials in the home will be made available to our local historical groups. Hopefully we'll never get there."
Interested buyers can contact Emilio Ramirez at 951-826-5350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to S&P/Case Schiller, home prices saw a decline of 1.3% in November from the previous month. Throughout the U.S., home prices are continuing to fall with 19 out of 20 cities seeing a drop for the second consecutive month.